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Making a Difference: Lifelong Learning

As an architect for Gray Construction, specializing in industrial and manufacturing facility design, Randall Vaughn frequently travels the globe to meet with corporate clients, such as Michelin, Siemens Energy, and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing.

But last fall, Vaughn found himself quietly blocking off a two-week period on his schedule, taking pains to ensure he wouldn’t be away on travel.

The reason?

Ken Burns’ eight-part documentary Country Music was scheduled to air on KET, and Vaughn didn’t want to miss a minute of it.

“Having grown up in a household where one parent loved country music and the other couldn’t stand it, I knew I didn’t want to miss an episode,” Vaughn said. “It was well worth the effort, too, because the film was so well done. It helped me understand my dad’s appreciation for country music, and for Hank Williams in particular, who was his favorite artist.”

It’s that instinct to want to understand the world around him, Vaughn said, that keeps him coming back to KET.

“I like to use the term ‘lifelong learning,'” Vaughn said. “And it’s such a key part of what KET is all about. The programs are enlightening. And they help me expand my knowledge and give me a chance to explore new things.”

Vaughn said he gravitates to KET programs such as Kentucky Life and Kentucky Afield because they teach him about the Commonwealth’s singular history, culture, resources and wildlife. And the knowledge he gleans from those programs often comes in handy when he’s traveling, he added.

“People ask me all the time about Kentucky and what it’s like,” Vaughn said. “So it’s exciting to be able to speak with conviction about my home state, because it’s such a great place, and I love to share what I’ve learned.”

KET’s programs, Vaughn said, also give him a lot to talk about even when he’s back home in Lexington. Whenever he’s about to pay a visit to his barber, who shares Vaughn’s love of history and stories about “the Black experience,” the two will exchange texts, pointing out recent KET programs they’ve enjoyed that they can discuss together.

“It’s a great way to share that experience with someone else,” Vaughn said. “And that’s what I love about KET’s programming—it takes you to another place, whether it’s in Kentucky or some other period of history. You discover something you didn’t know. And that’s why the older I get, the more I find myself circling back to KET.”